Thursday, August 18, 2011

Searches and my sis Jamie

Before Bert gets started on this very long post, I want to just let all of you in on a little revelation I got today.  I thought blogging was just a fun way to spend some time but I realized today and not for the first time, that the insights, and wisdom, and the heartfelt comments and posts that all of you put out there for me to read, have really impacted my life for the better, and I just wanted to thank you...and a special thanks for todays insight brought on by a new blog to our little world known as Raising Ruby and the post she made today on "Old Dogs"

OK BERT, take it from here.

My Vickie took Jamie to the park today. Just the two of them. I was a little jealous but I know that Jamie is getting old and that before I came along Jamie and My Vickie were partners in the world of search and rescue for 12 years. Jamie is My Vickies “Soul” dog….. Jamie is an original. The mold was broken after her.

Now she is old and her back legs are starting to give out on her and she has lost her hearing and eyesight, My Vickie worries about her every day.
She doesn't talk about it much so I thought I would tell you a little bit about Jamie.
 Jamie loves to play ball, or stick, or rock or anything, just like me but she is a bit compulsive about it.  Everyone, I mean everyone, of every age loves Jamie. She is the pure light of Joy in My Vickie’s heart.
As a search team, they were quite the pair. Jamie was requested all the time to come out on searches and do special things.

Just for instance.

There was a man who went missing from a camp site on a huge lake in Utah. Searchers and local search dog teams looked for him all one day. Later in that evening, My Vickie got a call from the sheriff asking if “Jamie” could come the next day and check the area out.

Jamie and My Vickie showed up at 8 am. They were supposed to go out in a boat and check out the areas the other dog teams had alerted on in the lake, but the boat driver wasn’t ready.

My Vickie asked the sheriff if anyone had checked the shore line and the boat dock for clues and if he minded if she and Jamie did it while they waited for the boat.

He told her she had 15 minutes so she could do what she wanted. She got the missing mans “Scent Article” a dirty sock, introduced it to Jamie and off they went.

First thing Jamie did was run out from the shore line and into the water until she was up to her neck. Then she just stood there staring off to the northwest about 30 yards north of the boat dock, mouth closed and nostrils flaring.

My Vickie made a mental note of this, then called her back and they continued to check out the shore line. After about five minutes, Jamie stuck her nose into the wind and headed to a pile of branches and washed up debris about 50 feet from the waters edge.

She started digging around in the stuff and then came running back to My Vickie with a wallet in her mouth.

Odd place to find a wallet My Vickie thought but because the news media was watching from the other side of the bay, she didn’t want to appear nosy so she took the wallet, put it in her pack and headed back to the sheriff.

When she got back, the boat driver was ready to go so she and Jamie headed down the boat dock with the sheriff. On the way there, the sheriff asked her what Jamie was doing when she ran into the water and My Vickie, who has complete confidence in both me and Jamie said,

“Well sheriff, what I understand from this is that Jamie thinks your victim is about 30 feet off the northwest end of that boat dock”

The sheriff quickly said that was not possible because the divers had already checked the area.

Continuing on along the boat dock, My Vickie remembered the wallet and pulled it out to give the sheriff. She handed it to him and said; “Jamie alerted on this wallet and found it up in the debris over there, and she pointed to the pile of logs.

“I didn’t check to see who it belonged to but I think it must have something to do with your victim because Jamie is “Scent Discriminate” trained and would only alert on articles that belong to the missing man.”

Then My Vickie and Jamie got in the boat and prepared to search the water. As the boat was taking off the sheriff came to the end of the dock and said…. “Vickie, this has a credit card in it that belongs to the missing man”

Interesting, My Vickie thought.

My Vickie and Jamie had been there 15 minutes by now. For the next 15 minutes they checked out the areas along the shore that the other dogs had alerted on but found no interest at all.

After that, the boat driver contacted the sheriff and asked him where he wanted them to go next.

The sheriff was consulting with his divers and said he would get back to them, so My Vickie asked the boat driver to take Jamie and her over across the lake to the boat dock area. He was a little disgruntled about the request but finally My Vickie persuaded him to go over.
 Jamie immediately started alerting. It is a wonderful thing to see a search dog alerting on water. They are standing at the edge of the boat with their noses high, their mouths shut and they are sucking air into their noses in big gusts.

As they get closer and closer to where the victim is their heads go down closer and closer to the water until finally all you see is a short little bob of their heads and its done……

If you know what you are watching for it is a beautiful sight.

Well, that explains exactly what Jamie was doing so when Jamie made her final bob, My Vickie threw a buoy out to mark the spot as the boat slowly passed over the area.

The boat driver asked her what was going on and she told him that Jamie had just pin-pointed the spot where the scent from the body of the missing man was coming to the surface.

He looked at her in surprise and told her, that is impossible; we have already checked this area.

My Vickie asked him to go over the area one more time just to see if Jamie did it again and so he agreed, only this time when they went over the area, even the boat driver could see something different in Jamie’s actions so he stopped right by the buoy and started pushing his paddle down into the water.

(Sorry about this next part, it may be too vivid for young readers) After pushing the boat paddle down into the water two or three times, the driver hit what he thought was a rock or boulder under water.

By this time Jamie was hanging over the boat and My Vickie was holding on to her for dear life. She wanted in the water. She was gonna go down and get the guy herself if everyone else wouldn’t get on the ball and trust her like My Vickie did.

When the boat driver backed the boat up a few feet to the area where he hit “The Rock” he noticed something floating near the surface so he reached down and grabbed it.

Yep, you guessed it…..It wasn’t a rock….. it was our missing man.

Jamie and My Vickie had been there 35 minutes. That is how good Jamie was in her day and that is how good I hope to be one day too.

 Over the last two weekends, we have been called out for both a missing scout and a 63 year old man lost in the mountains of Idaho and Utah.  As My Vickie pulls out our hiking gear, back packs and survival stuff, I know that Jamie senses the difference in the air. 

Her eyes are blind now and her body doesn't go as spritely as it used to.  Her hearing is gone too, but she knows.....she knows when we are preparing to go and do what she lived for, what she loved to do, what she did better than any dog My Vickie has ever known (OK, that might be a bit prejudiced but that is how My Vickie felt about working with Jamie).
 So today, Jamie got My Vickie time first and I got it second. I don’t mind being second to Jamie now cause I know my day is coming. I have so much to offer and I am sure that My Vickie will come to appreciate me for what I can do too.

I know she loves me and I know she is proud of me, so if she wants to get melancholy over sweet Jamie now and again, I’ll let her. There is plenty of time for me……but now it is only fair that she still gives Jamie, my mentor and big sis, all that she can…..

Cause Jamie is One of a Kind…….


Anonymous said...

This is very touching. It made me cry. I love your Jamie. The rocks on your toes were annoying but her spirit was contagious and her love of life inspiring. Jill

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a beautiful and touching post! I am crying! Your Jamie is so wonderful and smart. I can see how Your Vickie loves her so much. I was lost on a mountain about six years ago and it was very scary. All alone, nothing to drink, had not even decided to go hiking that day but for some reason, when I got out of the Jeep, I took the keys and my cell phone. Nine hours later and very lost, I called 911 who sent my call to the Park Rangers. They found me and they were my heros. Also, the comment on Holly's looks made me smile and feel really great! You are all just awesome! Lots of love and hugs, Debbie & Holly

Amber DaWeenie said...

This is an absolutely wonderful post. Sad, but the skill these dogs have is amazing.

Sarge said...

Wow, what an amazing post. Jamie is beautiful, inside and out. What a pawesome pack you all are.
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP

Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack said...

Absolutely beautiful!! Did you know the name "Jamie" means "much loved"? It sounds like she is and deserves to be indeed.

I know she's leaving you some big paw prints to follow in, but if anyone can, it's you, Bert!!

Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

Murphigator said...

When I first started search and rescue, Jamie and Vickie were our role models; they still are. Jamie is one of those special, once-in-a-lifetime dogs and her trusting eyes still hold nothing but adoration for her "mom". I love having Bert for my best buddy, but will always hold Jamie on a pedestal - one even higher than the one nasty Allred perches on! Love you Jamie -- Your admirer and forever friend, The Murphigator.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Mom has tears in her eyes reading about Jamie - what an amazing girl she is!!! That was such a powerful story you told us. She is also a beauty. We can see why she is your Mom's soul dog.

We love Ruby's Raiser - her posts are always so wonderful. Today's really touched us deeply as we too have a senior dog who fights cancer daily. Her post really made us stop and think about how much we treasure Phantom.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Frankie Furter said...

Dear Friend,
I can hardly breathe after reading this.


ra husky said...

Pawsome & touching post mate, we are glad to meet Jamie!

RA, Isis & nuknuk

rottrover said...

Bert, you made our mom cry with your beautiful post and your Vickie's very beautiful photographs of Jamie. Thank you for this.

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

Mack and Murph said...

This was very heartfelt. Jamie sounds like such a smart and beautiful dog. Bert, you are lucky to learn from the best.

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Such a wonderful touching post ... made my mom cry. Jamie is truly a great amazing mentor. You guys + Vickie does amazing stuff. Sending all of you Lots of Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Kolchak Puggle said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your Jamie touched our hearts and made us smile.

Wyatt said...

That is amazing. I know that some search dogs are trained to find bodies in the water, but have never really wrapped my head around it. Thanks for telling us Jamies story, it made me cry too, but happy tears.

Wyatt's Mom

NanaNor's said...

Hi Bert and Miss Vickie, O.k so now you have me crying about what a wonderful dog your Jamie is. What a wonderful tribute and understanding heart you have Bert and I thank you for all the service Jamie did and the service you and Vickie will do. You are the best and I appreciate you all.
Give Jamie some extra love and treats-he deserves them.
Hugs, Noreen & Reggie-dog

Ina in Alaska said...

Oh my what a great post! You can add our membership to the Fans of Jamie Club. Gorgeous pictures of a one-of-a-kind dog. May she have health & happiness in her senior years! Thank you so much for sharing!

Whisppy said...

Jamie is BEAUTIFUL. Bert, your post on your big sister made me tear up. I can only imagine how proud Your Vickie must be of the both of you..

Meeka said...

That was a touching story. You sure know how to bring tears to our eyes.

verobirdie said...

Wow, I did not know dogs could scent through water! Jamie is quite a hero, and she has such a sweet face.
No wonder she is your model.

STELLA from Down Under said...

Oh this is just so beautiful. Our memories of Kara are still so fresh and bittersweet. You worded everything perfectly. Old dogs are extra special just because of all those extra memories. Thanks Vickie. No worries, and love, Stella

Majid Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maggie and Mitch said...

You have our mom wiping away tears. Jamie is a beautiful girl! Seniors are the best!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. Mom's eyes are leaking. Amazing story. Hugs to your Vickie and Jamie :D

Waggin at ya,

Sara said...

Jamie is a very special,special dog. Intuitive, persistent, and smart. Add beauty to that, and you have quite an extraordinary dog.

Thanks for sharing one of Jamie's good deed. I'm sure there are many stories to tell about Jamie.

The Ryans said...

Okay this post brought on the tears.I have had Jamie drop plenty of rocks on my foot waiting for me to kick them for her to fetch when I have dropped off and picked-up Cleo & Gus. I knew that Jamie would do this for hours if I kept tossing the rock with my foot. :) Jamie is a beautiful dog and you see her wonderful spirit looking at these beautiful pictures. I am glad that Gus & Cleo and including our late Caesar are lucky enough to have Jamie as a k-9 buddy. Bert you are a special soul for embracing such a wonderful sister. XO

Ruby's Raiser said...

Thank you so much for sharing my post about Kiva with your readers, and for touching so many of us with such an amazing story and tribute to your precious Jamie. She is beyond beautiful, inside and out. What a profound difference she and so many service, working, assistance, therapy, and beloved pet dogs have on our lives.

I'm so glad we've finally "met" and I look forward to following your adventures with Bert!

The Army of Four said...

That is just so beautiful - reminds me so much of my own Stormy. I cherish every moment I was blessed to spend with her.
Please give Jamie a hug for me -
KZK - hogging the boys' blog :)

Sagira said...

Jamie sounds like a very very special dog. Thank you so much for sharing the photos and the beautiful story. It is so nice to know people like you that help make the world a greater place.

Jules said...

I could totally see that image of Jamie scenting on the water. I so wanted my Shadow to do rescue but not the right temperament.

Bert, if you are viewing my blog in Windows Explorer you are right, you cannot read it but in Firefox I can. Hopefully Blogger will have this sorted out soon.

A follower now, BTW.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

John and Deborah Gill said...

Was feeling the same way about Bsil this morning.

K9friend said...

What an incredible story! It certainly made the tears spill down my face, especially in light of the "old dog" scenario you so aptly painted.

Search and rescue dogs are amazing. Thanks for the good work you do!


NCmountainwoman said...

What a beautiful tribute to a fine search dog. I know from experience that your Vickie will have another "soul" dog. (It might even turn out to be you, Bert.) I used to think we were allowed only one soul dog, and then Ellie came into my life. That's how I know you can have more than one.

Mr. Pip said...

Thanks for sharing Jamie with us ... what an amazing spirit she has. This was such a moving post, thank you.

Your pal, Pip

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

I is glad I waited to read this long postie until I had time to finish it. Wot a bootiful story! Jamie is furry special and you is furry special, too, Bert.

KB said...

Oh my, I have a big lump in my throat. I know that kind of love, and it's amazing. I know that your Vickie is treasuring Jamie every single day. They are so lucky to have such a bond.

I think that the photos of Jamie are amazing. What a beauty and her eyes are so full of love and wisdom.

Thanks for sharing your Vickie so generously. Jamie needs her too.

FiveSibesMom said...

So beautiful! The story, the photos, the furbabies! Bert and Jamie are so beautiful, especially that first photo of them both together. Perfect.

Bailey Be Good! said...

This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing so much about Jamie -- it was so wonderful to read. It made Nala cry (she's such a girly girl).

I'm sure you'll get there too, Bert. And I bet your Vickie knows it too. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Woofs & hugs <3,

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

violett said...

I am very touched. A wonderful story about a wonderful dog. There is also a declaration of love to Jamie.
My English is not good enough to write more about this.
Lots of love
Violett with Mischka and Hoover